Though it doesn’t occur to many pet owners, your pup’s pearly whites need taking care of, too! Just like humans, dogs accumulate plaque on their teeth, which if left unchecked will quickly wear away their enamel and begin wreaking havoc on their oral health. The solution, as you’d probably guess, is regular brushing! 

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Dog getting their teeth brushed

Though they may not enjoy it at first, turning it into a positive experience can make keeping your pup in good health easy and fun! Plus, there are alternatives for dogs like chewable toothpaste. Keep scrolling to find out what that is!

The one difference here is the toothpaste you’ll need to use. The differences in dog’s systems mean that compounds in your toothpaste like fluoride could be extremely toxic to your pup if swallowed, and from a dog’s point of view, mint isn’t all that appealing of a flavor, either. You’ll need to pick up a specialized dog toothpaste, which is entirely safe for Fido to use and comes in dog-friendly flavors like chicken. 

Dog with a toothpaste and a brush

With all the available options, you may wonder what toothpaste and brushing routine is best for your pup. Here, I’m sharing a few of the best brushing practices for your pup, and what you should look for in a good dog toothpaste.

Best Brushing Practices for Dogs

The best advice we have for brushing your dog’s teeth is this: start slow. There are two major options for dog toothbrushes, and we suggest trying them both to see which your pooch prefers. Here’s a quick overview of your options:

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ProductWhat I LovePrice

Vetoquinol Enzadent Dual-Ended Dog Toothbrush
No need to put your finger in your dog’s mouth, easy to reach rear teeth$5.49

Vet’s Best Finger Brush Dog Toothbrush
Increased precision and pressure control, sometimes less intimidating to nervous dogs$8.54

Once your dog is comfortable with the brushing process, you should aim to brush their teeth once or twice daily, just like your own! If it helps you to remember, just brush theirs right after you’re done brushing yours. If that’s too time-consuming, aim for a minimum of two to three times a week. 

Try to use a soft-bristle toothbrush, as harder bristles may irritate your pup’s gums, making them much less willing to have their teeth brushed. Remember, you should try to make this as pleasant an experience as possible so that your dog will be more willing to work with you.

Be sure to keep up with this regular brushing routine; it’s just as important with dogs as it is with humans! Dogs with poor oral hygiene run a much higher risk for gingivitis, cavities, and gum disease, which will lead to great discomfort, difficulty eating, and even dangerous infections, and many dogs require extractions in their golden years. Just a few minutes of brushing today can prevent this tomorrow, so don’t let it fall to the wayside!

Best Dog Toothpaste

Dog toothpaste

When buying toothpaste for your dog, you’ll want to look for a number of things. First of all, be sure it’s safe to swallow, and that there aren’t any sweeteners like xylitol (sometimes branded as “birch sugar”) that are toxic to dogs. Dogs can’t spit like humans, so expect them to ingest the toothpaste.

If you don’t want to worry about what’s in the toothpaste you’re buying, you can always make your own! Here’s a quick recipe that gets the job done, is all-natural, and best of all, it’s extremely cheap to make! 

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Homemade Dog Toothpaste

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp bone broth, warmed
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • ¼ c. coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth
  2. Gently dip your dog toothbrush into the homemade toothpaste to retrieve a small amount of product
  3. Brush your pup’s teefs!

As for the best store-bought options, take a look at a few of my recommendations.

Product:What I Love:Price:

Arm & Hammer Complete Care
High quality, high quantity, and low price!$5.99

Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste
It’s the only dog toothpaste approved by the VOHC!$15
Vetoquinol Enzymatic ToothpasteIts unique triple-enzyme system and anti-foaming formula make it easy to use and effective!$9.49

Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste
A patented enzyme formula makes this toothpaste great at fighting plaque and bad breath, and is extremely easy to use!$5.71

Vetworthy Chewable Toothpaste
By far the quickest solution on this list, this chewable toothpaste makes brushing as simple as giving your pup a treat!$8.99

1. Arm & Hammer Complete Care

that compounds in your toothpaste like fluoride could be extremely toxic to your pup if swallowed,

Chances are, you’ve mostly seen the Arm & Hammer brand on cleaning products, and you wouldn’t be the first to wonder why they’re making dog toothpaste of all things. This is because of the one ingredient that most of their products have in common: baking soda, known for its antibacterial properties. Aside from keeping your pup’s teeth fresh and clean, Arm & Hammer Complete Care’s greatest advantage is the price: only $6 for a fairly large tube. If you want good bang for your buck, this is the way to go.

2. Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste

Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste

Though Petsmile Professional Dog Toothpaste is a bit pricier than others, it’s worth every penny. As the only toothpaste approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, or VOHC, there’s no denying its quality. It’s designed to be used with even the most stubborn dogs, and doesn’t require any brushing! Just apply it to your pup’s teeth and let it work its magic!

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3. Vetoquinol Enzymatic Toothpaste

Vetoquinol Enzymatic Toothpaste

Vetoquinol Enzymatic Toothpaste uses an extremely effective triple-enzyme system to kill plaque and oral bacteria while polishing and protecting your pup’s teeth. It’s designed not to foam like many kinds of toothpaste do, making the brushing process much simpler, and dogs can’t get enough of its poultry flavor! 

4. Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste

Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste

Petrodex Enzymatic Toothpaste is designed to make the brushing process quick and easy for everyone involved. All you have to do is brush your dog’s teeth and let them go, no rinsing required. With Petrodex’s patented enzyme formula, keeping your dog healthy will be a cinch!

5. Vetworthy Chewable Toothpaste

Vetworthy Chewable Toothpaste

Just can’t get your dog to play along when you’re trying to brush? Chewable toothpaste is just the thing! Quite possibly the quickest and easiest way to maintain your dog’s oral health, Vetworthy Chewable Toothpaste is as simple as giving them a treat at the same time you’d normally brush. With a delicious peanut butter flavor, your dog is sure to love this option!

FAQ

Alternatives to Dog Toothpaste

Maybe your dog just isn’t willing to let you brush their teeth, and you’re out of solutions. You’re in luck because toothpaste isn’t the only option! 

From chewable dental treats to probiotics and even water additives, there are plenty of options to make sure your pup is getting the dental care they need. 

Chewables and probiotics turn oral care into a fun treat, while water additives won’t be noticed to begin with! Remember, nothing is as effective as brushing. Think of water additives like mouthwash. Still useful, but not as good as the abrasion that brushing provides.

You’ll also hear about “Brushless Toothpaste“. Marketers use this term to for anything that has oral hygeine benefits but isn’t toothpaste.

What Can I Use as Toothpaste for My Dog?

Aside from regular toothpaste, probiotics, dental chews, and even water additives are available for more difficult pets!

Can I Brush My Dog’s Teeth With Baking Soda?

Yes! In fact, it’s one of the more common active ingredients in dog toothpaste. However, you might want to mix it with coconut oil to make the application a bit smoother.

Do Dogs Need Dog Toothpaste?

Yes, dog toothpaste is designed to be completely safe for all dogs, which isn’t true with other kinds of toothpaste.

Can You Use Human Toothpaste on Dogs’ Teeth?

No. Many ingredients like fluoride that are commonplace in human toothpaste are extremely toxic to dogs, so you should go with a specialized dog toothpaste instead.

Want more product recommendations for your pup? I’ve got you covered! Check out my list of the 10 best squeaky toys! After all, there’s no better way for your pup to test out their newly-polished teeth than with a good chew toy.

Shampoos To Keep Your Dog Clean & Fresh

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Antiseptic and Antifungal Shampoo

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